New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor expressed ESPN’s Marc J. Spears Sunday night that he will play for the Nigerian men’s basketball team at the Tokyo Olympic.
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Spears added, “Okafor’s grandfather Chicco Okafor hails from Enugu, Nigeria”.
Mike Brown was declared as the program’s head coach prior to this month. Brown has been an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors since the 2016-17 season after before serving as head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. This time the basketball season will be fantastic and exciting.
Okafor has contested for the U.S. in the previous. The 22-year-old has won gold medals in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, ’12 FIBA U17 World Championships, and ’11 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, according to USA Basketball’s authorized website.
Okafor’s NBA career was disturbed by injury after the Philadelphia 76ers selected him 3rd overall out of Duke in 2015. He suffered a season-finish meniscus tear through his beginner year. The Sixers dealt him to the Brooklyn Nets in December 2017, but he just played 26 games for the Nets. General in the 2017-18 movement, Okafor played only 28 games.
Since signing with New Orleans in August 2018 as a free cause, Okafor has averaged 8.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.8 minutes across 86 games (33 starts). So far this season, he has been imperfect to 27 games. He is averaging 7.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 15.6 minutes.
Team USA announced the 44 finalists for the Olympic 2020 roster earlier this month, and Okafor was not on it. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Josh Okogie, who applauded Brown during All-Star Weekend celebrations last weekend, will join Okafor on Nigeria’s roster. Tokyo will mark a third successive Olympic 2020 entrance for the Nigerian men’s basketball team.